10 December 2015 The heads of the National Assembly Parliamentary Groups meet with EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn

10 December 2015 The heads of the National Assembly Parliamentary Groups meet with EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Heads of National Assembly Parliamentary Groups Meet with EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn

Having addressed the MPs at the Fifth Special Sitting of the National Assembly, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn met with the heads of the National Assembly parliamentary groups.


Addressing Commissioner Hahn, the Head of the Serbian Progressive Party Parliamentary Group Zoran Babic first thanked the European Union for the assistance it offered Serbia during last year’s floods and then for the opening of the first negotiation chapters of the Serbia-EU accession talks at the coming intergovernmental meeting in Brussels on 14 December. Babic said this was the best proof that Serbia is on the right path and that the comprehensive and arduous reforms conducted by Prime Minster Aleksandar Vucic and the Serbian Government have yielded the expected results. Speaking of the migrant crisis that has been shaking Europe, Babic said that so far Serbia has proved to be a responsible partner to the European Union and is determined to be part of the solution to this problem. He characterised the European Commission’s progress report on Serbia as a significant encouragement for foreign investors, adding he was sure it would have a positive impact of the economic situation in the country. Babic also spoke about the process of normalisation of the Belgrade-Pristina relations, stressing that Serbia is meeting the obligations set out in the Brussels agreement in full. “Serbia is clearly devoted to its intention to send messages of peace, dedication to reform and stability to Europe and the world”, concluded Babic.

Marko Djurisic, Head of the Boris Tadic – Social Democratic Party, Together for Serbia, Greens of Serbia Parliamentary Group, believes that more could have been done in the last two years as regards the European integration process, adding that the opening of the negotiation chapters would lead to an improvement in the Serbian citizens’ lives.

Gordana Comic, Head of the Democratic Party Parliamentary Group, expressed readiness to join efforts and help the Government normalise the relations between Belgrade and Pristina. She emphasised the significance of opening chapters 23 and 24 which concern the status of national minorities. Speaking of the migrant crisis, she said respecting human rights is essential and the Western Balkans could greatly contribute to its emergence as the top of value in the system.

Djordje Milicevic, Head of the Socialist Party of Serbia Parliamentary Group, also interpreted the opening of the negotiation chapters as a clear sign of support for the Government’s reform process. “Serious business lies ahead, but this Government never shirked responsibility, and the opening of the negotiation chapters confirms that Serbia has its place and that that place is in the European Union”, said Milicevic.

On the behalf of the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians Parliamentary Group, Elvira Kovacs highlighted the importance of opening chapters 23 and 24. She stressed that the Working Group for the drafting of the special action plan for national minorities spared no efforts and its results are satisfactory.

Sulejman Ugljanin, Head of the SDA Sandzak – Party of Democratic Action Parliamentary Group, also spoke of the importance of opening the chapters concerning national minorities, although he had some complaints to the work of the Working Group for the drafting of the special action plan for national minorities, which he urged to more constructive cooperation.

Bojan Kostres of the League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina said that the wealth of differences is an advantage that every country should nurture and that a strong Vojvodina means a strong Serbia. He believes that independent funding of public enterprises and the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina could contribute this growth. “It would give an extra boost to the development of democracy in Serbia and help us on our European path”, Kostres maintains.

On the behalf of New Serbia, Dubravka Filipovski said her appreciation for the adoption of the Brussels Agreement, was accompanied by concerns for Pristina’s disregard of its tenets. She asked Commissioner Hahn to invest additional efforts into ensuring that Pristina respects the Brussels Agreement, particularly the part concerning the establishment of the Community of Serb municipalities.

The Head of the Social Democratic Party of Serbia Parliamentary Group Milorad Mijatovic, Petar Petrovic of United Serbia and Aleksandar Jugovic on the behalf of the Serbian Renewal Movement – Demo-Christian Party of Serbia Parliamentary Group, spoke about the importance of Serbia’s joining the community of European countries. They said that the Government is sparing no effort to fulfil the task and is determined to persevere in it, which is evidenced in the fact that not a single member of the National Assembly is against Euro-integration.

Afterwards, Commissioner Hahn said that the MPs’ absolute support of European integration is a strong element for the partners in the European Union and evidence of strong interest and trust in the Serbian elite as regards enlargement. He believes that chapters 35 and 32 would soon be followed by the opening of chapters 23 and 24.

“EU accession will be the accompanying result. The negotiation process will first and foremost benefit the citizens of Serbia, though reform, modernisation and development. The citizens need to understand that reforms can be painful, but they should be judged by their long-term effects”, concluded Hahn.



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